Paul Simon, the legendary singer-songwriter, recently opened up about his hearing loss in his left ear and how it has impacted his ability to continue playing music. Despite his challenges, he remains determined to persevere and find ways to continue performing. Simon shared his thoughts during a post-screening Q&A for the Alex Gibney documentary, “In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon,” which made its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.
During the Q&A, Simon candidly admitted that he hasn’t fully accepted his hearing loss, but he is starting to come to terms with it. He first revealed his hearing loss in May, and since then, he has been grappling with how it will affect his music career. Playing the guitar is not only a form of creative expression for Simon but also a source of solace. It has become an essential part of his life, and he finds comfort in it. However, living with a disability has changed his awareness and how he interacts with life.
Simon spoke about his inability to recover his hearing in his left ear, which has made returning to live performances a challenge. In the past, after releasing an album, he would go on tour to explore the songs further and take them to another level. This process allowed him to evolve as an artist. However, with his hearing loss, he is uncertain about how he can integrate his voice with the guitars on stage.
Despite the challenges, Simon expressed his determination to continue pursuing his music career. He revealed his plans to work with two guitarists who will play the parts he originally played on the record, while Simon focuses on singing. This experiment will serve as a test to see if he can still perform and connect with his audience in a meaningful way.
The Alex Gibney documentary, “In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon,” offers an intimate look into Simon’s life and creative process. The film showcases Simon in his home studio in Wimberly, Texas, working on his latest album, “Seven Psalms.” Although Simon hasn’t listened to the album in some time, he mentioned that he has completed a new song titled “When I Learned to Play Guitar.” However, he remains unsure if he will release it or perform it live.
As the Toronto Film Festival continues, audiences have been captivated by Simon’s openness and vulnerability about his hearing loss. His determination to overcome this obstacle and find alternative ways to continue pursuing his passion for music serves as an inspiration to fans and fellow musicians alike.
Simon’s journey highlights the resilience and adaptability required to navigate through life’s challenges. While facing a disability can be disheartening, Simon’s refusal to let it define him shows the power of the human spirit. He is a reminder that despite setbacks, it is possible to find new ways to express oneself creatively and continue pursuing passions.
Paul Simon’s story serves as a reminder to appreciate the gifts we have and find alternative ways to continue doing what we love. His dedication to his craft and his willingness to adapt and explore new avenues demonstrate that there is always hope and potential for growth, even in the face of adversity.